Waterloo IL. using sheep to keep lawn mowed around sewage treatment plant

WATERLOO, IL (KPLR) – When it comes to keeping city property trimmed, Waterloo, Illinois has ditched the idea of mowers.

In Waterloo, sheep do the mowing.

About 20 years ago, before the idea became popular, Waterloo began using herds of sheep to keep the weeds and grasses from overtaking the steep hills of its two sewer plant lagoons.

"You can't mow up and down these hills here," said Mayor Tom Smith.

"Going up and down would be a danger to employees."

Even in the heat of the day, the sheep quietly toil away and leave the grasses fertilized.

It's a greener alternative to mowing, for the environment and the city. Less work for city employees means the city saves money.

The sheep are free. Each spring, a farmer in Sparta, Illinois drops off the grazers till the summer comes to an end.

"If it didn't work we wouldn't do it," said Mayor Smith.

Smith is surprised more area cities don't do the same.

"They should," he said.